Mr and Miss-un­der­stood

Dubbo Photo News - - Issue - Ev­ery day, or­di­nary peo­ple are plagued by a whole range of ill­nesses that oth­ers ei­ther don’t un­der­stand or don’t care to ac­knowl­edge. NATALIE HOLMES asked a range of suf­fer­ers about their con­di­tion and how they would like to see so­ci­ety change.

Pa­trick, 15

What is it that you strug­gle with? Autism and devel­op­ment de­lay­ment. I get picked on for be­ing dif­fer­ent, laughed at when I play games and act like char­ac­ters out of As­sas­sin Creed. Not be­ing able to com­mu­ni­cate prop­erly with oth­ers around me, I just want oth­ers to be my friend and like me. How long has it been a prob­lem for you?

It gets harder as I get older be­cause some peo­ple can’t see the autism in me or the de­lay­ment. I have been bul­lied and pushed around be­cause I still play make be­lieve games. How does it af­fect your daily life?

Peo­ple tor­ment me. I’m not the same as ev­ery­body. I have trou­ble un­der­stand­ing oth­ers, es­pe­cially when they ask ques­tions and I try to an­swer but it comes out wrong and they laugh at me. How do other peo­ple’s ac­tions or opin­ions af­fect you and your con­di­tion?

I feel im­pris­oned! It makes me feel like I’ve got no rights to do what I want. It makes me want to run away, like I don’t want to be here anymore (head low­ered into his hands). How do you think peo­ple in the com­mu­nity can be bet­ter ed­u­cated about this?

Bring more ed­u­ca­tion, aware­ness and ex­po­sure.

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